"The same song on a different day was a different song” ~ Bob Weir
But all in all, the song remains the same. The giant stoneflies continue to entertain anglers willing to flirt with disaster and put their flies in hard to reach lies, but look for the golden stones to become a more reliable choice as we move forward in to the flowering days of June. Newly opened sections of river were greeted with the first PMD hatches of the year and the caddis activity continues to intensify. Small terrestrial insects are starting to play a more important role in the day to day fishing and late afternoon and evening spinner falls are becoming more consistent. From a fishing barometer point of view, there’s nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile. Here’s the skinny on what’s poppin’ out there.
BOX CANYON: The powers that be have lowered the flow to the gaunt level of 350cfs. This makes the float option bumpy at best and it’s probably best to look to other sections to float a boat. The salmon flies are out and about making for some outstanding dry fly action and adding a rubber leg or bead head dropper will only increase hook ups. On the upper and lower ends of the canyon, watch for good trout to be sipping caddis and March browns. Target tricky fish with small black ants and beetles. Present streamer patterns to deeper holding water for a chance at one of those Box Canyon monsters.
LAST CHANCE AND THE WOOD ROAD: Caddis and PMD’s are the top menu items through these two famous sections of river. March browns are slowing down, but still a great option for willing trout. The evening spinner falls are becoming more consistent and tricky trout can be picked up on smallish black terrestrial patterns. With these low flows, it’s imperative that you pinch those barbs and play the fish with a quickness, to release them un-scathed.
THE CANYON SECTION: Still one of the hottest floats available. The big stones are keeping the fish fat and happy. In addition, there are plenty of caddis, PMD’s, March browns, little yellow sallies and flying terrestrial insects to fill in any gaps in the action. Streamers and heavy nymphs fished deep will connect with those large buttery browns that call the canyon home.
WARM RIVER TO ASHTON DAM: The afternoon golden activity has been outstanding. Once those big hearty bugs hit the water, watch out! The action is superb! Nymphing the deep water seams, back eddies and middle river boulders is a sure fire way to rope a hog. Streamers should never be overlooked, as state record caliber trout migrate in and around this reliable piece of the Henry’s Fork.
LOWER RIVER: Too much amazement, there are still a few salmon flies buzzing around and those fat lower river trout are still hungry for them. The golden stones are more prominent now, but taking it back up a size will often pay great dividends. The PMD action is warming up, the caddis are out in droves and it won’t be too long now before those scrumptious green drakes make an appearance. If you miss a big fish off the bank, make a comeback pass with a big articulated streamer, you might well be surprised.
HENRY’S LAKE: Sorry folks, but there are not a lot of good reports filtering in from the lake. We can blame it on the early ice off or not. We’ll keep an eye and an ear out and let you know when she fires back up. If you do venture out, have a good selection of buggers, leeches, chironomids and still water nymph patterns.